The lion’s mane mushroom is a huge, white, shaggy fungus that grows to resemble a lion’s mane. Food and medicinal applications are common in Asian nations, including China, Japan, and South Korea.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s mane mushrooms are excellent whatever way you prepare them: cooked, dried, raw, or steeped in tea. Health supplement makers often employ their extracts. Often compared to crab or lobster, their taste is described as “seafood-like.”

They have a positive impact on the brain, heart, and digestive system since they contain bioactive compounds. Lion’s mane mushrooms and their extracts have the following health advantages [1].

Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion's mane mushroom

Some of the best lion’s mane mushroom benefits and techniques to integrate this potent functional mushroom into your daily routine are shown in the following sections.

1.  Could Protect Against Dementia

Growing and forming new connections in the brain slows down with age, which might explain why many older people’s mental health deteriorates. Hericenones and erinacines, two chemicals you can find in lion’s mane mushrooms, it’s helpful to increase the formation of brain cells.

Researchers have discovered lion’s mane may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain illness that causes memory loss.

According to research, extracts and the mushroom itself have been found to minimize memory loss in rats and protect neurons against amyloid-beta plaques, which build up in the brain during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease [2].

Lion’s mane mushroom hasn’t been studied to see whether it helps with Alzheimer’s disease in people, although it does seem to improve mental performance. Three grams of powdered lion’s mane mushroom a day for four months were given to elderly persons with minor cognitive impairment to enhance their cognitive performance, but these advantages faded after supplementation was done.

Some of the lion’s mane mushroom’s good benefits on brain health may be explained by its capacity to increase neuron development and protect the brain from Alzheimer’s-related damage [3].

We must not forget that most research has been carried out on animals or in test tubes. Because of this, further human research is vital.

2.  Relieves Minor Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

Approximately one-third of adults in affluent nations suffer from anxiety and depression. Many factors contribute to anxiety and depression, but chronic inflammation may be one of the most significant [4].

An extract of a lion’s mane may be helpful to help animals’ hippocampus, which processes memory and emotions, in animal studies.

Mice given these extracts were less nervous and depressed, which researchers think is due to enhanced hippocampal function. Despite the encouraging results of these animal trials, relatively little research has been done on people [5].

3.  May Recover Injuries of the Nervous System

The brain, spinal cord, and other nervous systems are part of the nervous system. Everybody’s function is controlled by signals sent and sent by these components.

A brain or spinal cord injury may have far-reaching effects. They often result in paralysis or the loss of mental abilities, and their recovery period may be considerable.

These sorts of injuries may heal more quickly with the use of a lion’s mane mushroom extract, which stimulates the development and regeneration of nerve cells. When you give it to rats with nervous system injuries, lion’s mane mushroom extract is helpful in speeding up healing time by 23–41%. After a stroke, a lion’s mane extract may lessen the damage to the brain.

4.  Protection Against Digestive Tract Ulcers

Ulcers may form in the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine. H. pylori overgrowth and the long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) are two of the most common causes of ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract [6].

There is also evidence that lion’s mane extract, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, may help prevent stomach ulcers. Many types of research have shown that H. pylori cannot grow in test tubes when lion’s mane extract is used, but none have examined if the same results can be achieved in the stomach.

Additionally, animal research indicated that lion’s mane extract was more efficient than typical acid-lowering medications in avoiding alcohol-induced stomach ulcers, and it had no negative side effects [7].

Other parts of the gut may benefit from the anti-inflammatory and tissue-protective properties of lion’s mane extract as well. For example, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease may benefit from their use.

After three weeks of use, a mushroom supplement containing 14 percent lion’s mane extract dramatically decreased symptoms and enhanced the quality of life in persons with ulcerative colitis [8].

5.  Reduces Risk of Developing Heart Disease

Obesity, high triglycerides, high levels of oxidized cholesterol, and a higher likelihood of blood clots are major contributors to heart disease.

This extract has been shown to alter some of these parameters, hence lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. In rats and mice, lion’s mane mushroom extract increased fat metabolism and decreased triglyceride levels.

Because obesity and high triglyceride levels are risk factors for heart disease, lion’s mane mushrooms may help keep your heart healthy. It has also been observed that lion’s mane extract may help inhibit the oxidation of cholesterol [9].

Hardened arteries may result from the hardening of cholesterol molecules, which can cause heart attacks and strokes. Heart health may be improved by cutting down on oxidation.

Lion’s mane extract has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease in animal and test-tube tests; however, human trials are required to validate these results [10].

6.  Helps To Lessen Diabetes Symptoms

When the body’s capacity to regulate blood sugar levels is compromised, a condition known as diabetes results. The levels increase as a consequence.

Chronically high blood sugar levels may cause kidney illness, nerve damage in the hands and feet, as well as loss of vision if not addressed.

Diabetes treatment may be useful by lion’s mane mushroom’s ability to lower blood sugar levels and lessen associated negative effects. Animal studies demonstrate that lion’s mane may reduce blood sugar levels in normal and diabetic mice, even at daily doses of 2.7 mg/lb of bodyweight [11].

With alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme in the small intestine, blood sugar levels may be lower by eating lion’s mane. As a consequence of the body’s inability to properly digest and absorb carbohydrates, the blood sugar levels are lower, and it occurs when this enzyme is inhibited.

Extraction of lion’s mane helps decrease the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain in hands and feet. Pain, blood sugar levels, and antioxidant levels are great in diabetic mice given daily lion’s mushroom extract for six weeks.

More research is helpful to discover whether lion’s mane mushrooms may decrease blood sugar and ease the discomfort of diabetic nerves in people.

7.  May Help Fight Cancer

When the DNA in cells is damaged, it may lead to cancer, multiplying uncontrollably. According to certain studies, Lion’s mane mushroom may have cancer-fighting properties attributable to a number of its unique components.

When human cancer cells are exposed to lion’s mane extract, the cancer cells die more quickly. This shows to be helpful to work with various cancer cells, including those from the liver, colon, stomach, and blood.

At least one study has failed to duplicate these findings; therefore, more thorough research is vital. Additionally, lion’s mane extract has been demonstrated to delay cancer progression [12].

8.  Reduces Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress link to a wide range of ailments, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals in lion’s mane mushrooms may help alleviate the symptoms of various diseases. Lion’s mane, in particular, was shown to have the fourth greatest antioxidant activity among 14 different mushroom species studied in recent research, making it a rich source of antioxidants in the diet [13].

Experiments on rats using lion’s mane extract have revealed it to be an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, liver damage, and even strokes.

9.  Boosts the Immune System

Protection against disease-causing microorganisms is a key function of the immune system. On the other side, those with weakened immune systems are more likely to get infectious infections.

Increased intestinal immune system activation helps the body fight infections that enter the stomach through the mouth or nose. Lion’s mane mushroom has been demonstrated to boost immunity in animals [14].

Safety and Side Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion's mane mushroom

The adverse effects of lion’s mane mushroom or its extract have not been studied in humans. In spite of this, though, these are harmless.

Over the course of a month or three months, rats given dosages as high as 5 grams per kilogram of body weight each day exhibited no adverse effects. If you have a mushroom allergy or sensitivities, you should avoid eating lion’s mane [15].

Experiments on animals show that lion’s mane mushroom and its derivatives are mostly harmless even at large dosages. There have been reports of human adverse responses to mushrooms; therefore, those with known allergies should avoid them [16].

The Bottomline: Lion Mane’s Mushroom Benefits and Side Effects

Researchers have shown that lion’s mane mushroom extract has a number of health benefits. Lion’s mane shows that it’s helpful when it comes to protecting against dementia, alleviating minor anxiety and depression symptoms, and aiding in nerve damage healing in studies.

Some studies on animals have shown anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant properties, and properties boosting the immune system of the lion’s mane mushrooms, while human studies have indicated that it lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer, ulcers, and diabetes.

Lion’s mane mushroom research is promising, but additional human studies are vital in creating practical health uses.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.


  • Dr Andleeb Asghar, Pharm.D

    Dr Andleeb is a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) graduate with real-life experience working in health and wellness-related companies. She has also published various research papers in the health and medical field. Currently, she takes joy in creating health-related content for a wide range of audiences, which is a craft she has been perfecting for over five years. She enjoys diving deep into published research papers and journal articles to source helpful content for her readers. LinkedIn


Dr Andleeb is a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) graduate with real-life experience working in health and wellness-related companies. She has also published various research papers in the health and medical field. Currently, she takes joy in creating health-related content for a wide range of audiences, which is a craft she has been perfecting for over five years. She enjoys diving deep into published research papers and journal articles to source helpful content for her readers. LinkedIn